Justice Abiola Soladoye of an Ikeja Sexual Offences and Domestic Violence Court in Lagos State, has sentenced a 56-year-old driver, Folarin Rauf, to life imprisonment for defiling his employer’s five-year-old granddaughter in the state.
Punch reports that the judge handed down the sentence on Monday July 10, after finding the convict guilty of the offence of defilement. Rauf was arraigned on November 30, 2021, on one count of defilement and he pleaded not guilty. The offence committed contravened Section 137 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State 2015.
The judge held that the prosecution led by Abimbola Abolade proved the three ingredients of defilement and that the defendant had sexual intercourse with the minor and that the consent of the child was immaterial.
‘’The prosecution has satisfied the three ingredients and the evidence of the victim corroborated the evidence of the other witnesses. The testimony of the victim was well corroborated by the mother and grandfather before it was reported to the authorities.
The defence in their written address urged the court to discharge the defendant as there was no evidence against him. The conduct of the defendant is nasty, devoid of character, reckless and his ‘own way’ of saying thank you to his employer was to defile his granddaughter,” the judge said
During the trial, the prosecution called four witnesses including the victim and tendered two documents while the defendant testified as sole witness for himself. The victim, who testified on August 5, 2022, told the court that she was six years old at the time of giving evidence before the court. She said her grandfather’s driver had sex with her severally at her grandfather’s living room and in the Jeep on the premises and that she had lost the number of counts that he raped her. She testified that on one of the occasions, she was playing with her friend when the driver asked the friend to leave and he inserted his penis in her private parts.
The victim said Rauf threatened her not to tell anybody but that she later told her grandfather that the convict raped her.
During cross-examination, the victim told the court that the driver used to take her to school and also drop her grandfather at work.
The second prosecution witness, a 70-year-old insurance practitioner, identified only as Oyenuga, who is the grandfather of the victim, said his granddaughter was raped by his driver at his residence in Lagos State.
“I was with an electrician from the Ikeja Electricity Distribution Company to fix some cables when the victim and her younger cousin came out of the house and went toward the car. The defendant made the boy leave and took my granddaughter into the car. My granddaughter later came to my room to whisper in my ears. She said, ‘grandpa, I have something to tell you,’ and she told me to bring my ears closer.
She whispered that the defendant cuddled her to his chest, kissed her, brought out his penis and inserted it into her vagina. I confronted the defendant the following day and asked him if he wants to marry a new wife, is it my granddaughter that he intends to marry?”
Oyenuga said the accused replied that he only kissed her. He said that he discussed the issue with his daughters and they decided to report the case to the Ikeja Domestic and Sexual Violence Agency.
“My granddaughter revealed more details to the agency that interviewed her and made drawings to describe the position of the defendant and her while in the car.”he said
The victim’s grandfather further testified that the agency gave them a letter to conduct a test on the child at the Women at Risk International Foundation, adding that a representative at the WARIF directed them to go to the police command headquarters in Ikeja as the result could not be given to the family.
“We reported the case at the Ojodu Police Station and statements were made and he was arraigned at the Agege Magistrates’ Court. The driver takes my granddaughter and her cousin to school, and one of my daughters would also accompany them,” Oyenuga said
Justice Soladoye said the third witness was a 40-year-old insurance broker, the victim’s mother and the medical report also corroborated the evidence of PW 2 and PW1.
“He stated that he resumes duty at 7am from Monday to Friday. The convict was a pathological liar who tried to deter himself from the charge as he claimed not to understand English Language but he responded as the court registrar read out the charge in English. The defendant denied having sexual intercourse with the victim but told the court he only planted kisses on her cheeks and cuddled her. Under cross-examination, he denied making any statement at the Ojodu Police Station but the same statement was tendered and admitted in evidence as exhibit B. He lied to the face of the court,” the judge said.
Justice Soladoye urged parents and guardians to desist from entrusting their children to the care of “good for nothing staff” so that they would not be sexually violated.
“The need for supervision at all times cannot be over-emphasised in this age and time where sexual abuse is being perpetrated. Furthermore, children should be trained to speak up and report any such sexual violations against such persons to their parents, teachers or authorities so that they can be properly investigated,” she said